• About
  • Programs
  • Research
  • Internship
  • Pedagogical Approaches and Students Learning
  • Contact us

Welcome to the website of the Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering (SWAE). The department mission is focusing on educating, training, and equipping students with scientific and engineering knowledge, hands-on skills, and soft skills.Tackling the societal needs of Oman to issues relevant to agricultural production, soils and water quality, natural resource management,ronmental remediation, among others is our priority. Our faculty members use  interdisciplinary approaches in conducting research and finding potential solutions to the contemporary, multidisciplinary and emerging   problems relevant to countries of arid and semi-arid climates, including soil and water resources management, irrigation under dry desert farming, solute movement in the soil profile, management of wastewater disposal, controlled environment agriculture, drudgery and post-harvest losses, machinery and equipment development and technology, computer vision technology applications for land use and food industry,  etc. The conducted research topics are linked to socioeconomics, environment, agricultural production, and food security of the Sultanate of Oman. Members of the SWAE collaborate in teaching, research, consultancy activities, services to professional bodies and organizations with top scientists and researchers nationally, regionally, and internationally.
SWAE has highly trained and well qualified technical staff operating its laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for soil and water investigations, Remote Sensing and GIS analyses, instrumentation and data acquisition, machinery and equipment testing. The Agricultural Experimentation Station of SQU, which too possesses research fields, equipment and trained staff, is also involved in our research and teaching. SWAE takes an active role in extension and community outreach making its expertise and laboratory facilities available to the community.

SWAE constantly organizes numerous seminars, workshops and international conferences. Our alumnae are contributing to the Sultanate in numerous ways at ministries, research stations, in public and private sectors. SWAE strives for excellence in every aspect of its activities.  Welcome to our website and feel free to contact us.

newDr. Said

Head of the Department
Dr. Said  Al-Ismaily
Associate Professor and Head


SWAE prepares students for agricultural and environmental careers in the management of land and water resources. SWAE offers three Bachelor of Science Degree programs in Soil Sciences, Water Technology and Agricultural Engineering.

The Soil Sciences program is designed to produce graduates with skills towards the use of interdisciplinary approaches in conducting future research and finding potential solutions to the problems relevant to soil and water management in arid environments, linked to socioeconomics, environment, agricultural production, and food security of the Sultanate of Oman. The Water Technology program is designed to produce graduates knowledgeable in sophisticated skills and water-related technologies relevant to the management of water resources associated with land use. The Agricultural Engineering program is intended to integrate the knowledge of engineering principles and understanding of the biological sciences as the framework for addressing complex problems in agriculture, food, natural resources and the environment.
In total, SWAE offers Seven academic programs as follow: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Soil Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Water Technology
    Bachelor of Engineering in Agricultural Engineering (Joint Program between CAMS and CoE)
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering
  • Master of Science in Soil and Water Management
  • PhD in Soil and Water Management 

Focus areas:
•    Pedology and hydroecology of critical zone in drylands
•    Water quality and treatment in regions with limited water resources
•    Mapping, monitoring and mitigation of arid land degradation
     (erosion, desertification, and contamination)
•    Soil surveys, and intelligent design for
     agro-projects in arid environments
•    Combating secondary salinization of arid soils by
     increasing irrigation water use efficiency
•    Enhancing soil fertility in sustainable desert farming
•    Design and operation of greenhouses in arid climates
•    Remote sensing of soil moisture and plants in deserts of Arabia
•    Management of urban soils as a medium for growing ornamental
     plants (parks and gardens)
•    Microbiology of arid soils
•    Teaching-research nexus in university curriculum of
     soil-water BSc programme
•    Managed aquifer recharge and drainage of waterlogged soils
     subtended by perched aquifers
•    Agricultural machinery design/manufacturing in Oman
•    Post-harvest quality assessment using computer vision techniques
•    Protection/processing/packaging of products of desert farming

SWAE faculty and their graduate students work in research projects (international, regional, national and SQU-scale) and regularly publish  in top journals e.g. Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Food Process Engineering, Geoderma, Tropical Ecology, Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Hydrological Processes, Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development Irrigation Science, Environmental Science and Technology, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, Horticulture, Water Resources Research, Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, Journal of Irrigation and Drainage, Advances in Water Resources, Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, Journal of Geography in Higher Education , Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainability, Journal of Arid Land, among others

Numerous research awards are won by SWAE faculty/staff/students. 

The internship represents an educational strategy that links classroom learning and student interest with the acquisition of knowledge in an applied work setting.  It is an experiential learning opportunity (that lasts for 8-12 weeks) that emphasizes “on-the-job” training. 
Internship provides our students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills from a planned work experience in the student’s chosen career field in areas related to soils, environment, water resources, hydrology, technologies and agricultural engineering. In addition to meeting Learning Outcomes, jointly developed Specific Learning Outcomes are selected and evaluated by the Faculty Internship Advisor, Work-site supervisor, and the student. Internship placements are directly related to the student’s program of study and provide learning experiences not available in the classroom setting. Internships provide entry-level, career-related experience, and workplace competencies that employer’s value when hiring new employees. Students must meet with an Internship Program Advisor prior to registering in this 3-credit course. Coordination with the host organizations is also preceded. 

Our students are well equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge that enables them apply appropriate solutions to problems faced in the agricultural and environmental sectors in Oman.

Advantages of completing an internship are:
1.    Extends student’s classroom learning into a real-world setting.
2.    Provides the opportunity to reinforce student’s choice of major and career path.
3.    Allows the student to gain practical experience and transferable skills by working in a professional environment.    
4.    Helps the student to develop a network of professional contacts in their career fields.

Over years, SWAE has established good training programs and collaboration with host organizations in both public and private sectors entities.  This includes: Petroleum development Oman (PDO), drilling companies, large farms, food companies, desalination plants, consulting companies dealing with environmental problems in Sultanate, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR), Muscat Municipality, Royal Court of Diwan, Authority of Environment, Oman Water and Wastewater services company, etc. The department also managed to arrange an annual overseas training for a number of students. Recent host countries include, The Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and Kuwait.

The SWAE department engages the student’s practices stemming from active learning, research-based, inquiry-based learning, among others. The corresponding curricular and extracurricular activities have the following goals:

  • Equip students with scientific and engineering hands-on skills and soft skills to tackle the societal needs of
    Oman on issues relevant to agricultural production, soils and water quality, natural resource management,
    environmental remediation, among others.
  • Develop the abilities of the students to communicate effectively, contribute in community outreach activities,
    work in multidisciplinary teams and understand professional and ethical responsibilities.

SWAE students are involved in a wide range of these activities, including research oriented undergraduate courses, internship, field trips, Soil-Skills contents, international celebration of Soil Day and Water Day, Omani Environment Day, etc.

Our pedagogical strategies and the designing of the academic curricula place student inquiry at the center, and all learning tasks, assessments, resources, and guidance are designed to support the inquiry process. Our teaching approaches rely on three intertwined premises: (a) advancing student’s learning from direct instruction through structured learning toward inquiry-based-learning, (b) including outreach activities executed by undergraduates, and (c) facilitating students’ initiatives to compete for and fulfill the acquired grants from national research agencies.

Head of the Department
Dr. Said Salim Mohammed Al-Ismaily
Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering
College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
PO Box 34, Al-khod 123
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: (+ 968) 2414 3643
Fax: (+ 968) 2441 3418
Email: esmaily@squ.edu.om

Department Coordinator
Asila Said Al-Rashdi
Department of Soils, Water and Agricultural Engineering
College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences
Sultan Qaboos University
PO Box 34, Al-khod 123
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: (+ 968) 2414 1228
Fax: (+ 968) 2441 3418
Email: asilas@squ.edu.om



  • *
  • *